Fundamentals of Media Communication Instructor Gwen Puza March 24, 2011
Once upon a time, animation was painstakingly hand-drawn in multiple stages by sweatshop teams of artists who made no pretensions to realism. The late Walt Disney preferred to generally portray speaking animals and magical figures for the necessity of building sets, costuming actors, and obeying the laws of physics. In those days, work on a major production like “Peter Pan” took years of careful, repetitive craftsmanship. These animations were 2D animations and they still appeal to the younger generations now, but perhaps it is time to move on from that. Or will it? Animation appears to be here to stay as an art form. While there is much advancement in the realm of 3D animation, 2D animation is still being used. It isn't so much a question of which type of animation is better, but what each type of animation brings to a project. While 2D animations are usually hand drawn and uses multiple images, animation in 3D uses computer generated lines, surfaces and solids to create a three-dimensional look. The final product is an image with more perceived depth than would be obtained in 2D animation. Unlike 3D animation, in 2D animation only one angle or side can be seen at a time, so the image looks flat. The skill sets required to do 3D animation are much more difficult to obtain than those required of 2D animation. It also tends to be more expensive to create 3D images depending on what kind of software package you use and its quality. Both 2D and 3D techniques are now being used in the creation of animated projects. This means that both 2D and 3D animations that have been artistically integrated together will become the norm on many animation projects in the future. Computer animation goes way beyond funny cartoon images. Computer generated animation is used in a host of different situations such as gaming development, advertising, videos, television, movies, as well as website designing. Game designers have eagerly adapted the technology to provide an interactive experience which transcends the boundaries between artist and spectator. The graphics and storylines are often dark and hyper-real, taking advantage of the medium to generate 3D animations which rival the real thing. Animators of all kinds have one thing in common. They are working in the cutting-edge medium of the age. Multimedia animation is perhaps the ultimate art form and allows a single artist to write a script, code the actors, compose the soundtrack and distribute it on the web where up-and-coming video artists can compete to spread their work throughout the world. “The first computer graphics were developed in the 1960's.”(Carlson, 2003) This was in the prehistoric dark ages before PC's when computers had no screen or keyboards. Programmers and developers at universities and research institutes experimented with ways to create graphic images using the text that those computers were capable of. By the end of the decade, large corporations began taking an interest in this technology. They began to pour large sums of money into the development of graphics programs which would pave the way eventually for custom 3D and everything else we see today. However, the PCs that hit the market in the 1970s were still quite crude and their graphics couldn't do much. Today, custom 3D CG is used everywhere. We see it in feature films as well as television commercials. Things have come a long way since the early days of “Star Wars” and “Tron”. 3D animation has become tremendously popular. The techniques and characteristics of this ever increasing section of entertainment have left people with long lasting impressions on their hearts. It has brought a revolution in the animation sector. The movies being released using the characteristics of 3D animation has gathered many fans including both adults and kids. The perfect images, unexpected...